Many people who are asked to give a presentation blow the opportunity and lose their audience, but the problem isn’t necessarily nervousness. In many cases, you are likely using a flawed presentation approach. It’s important to remember that senior executives have busy schedules and short attention spans, which means your presentation needs to be short, sweet, and on point. However, the higher the stakes, the more compelled we often feel to do extensive research and tons of data analysis. Instead of cramming as much research as you can into your presentation, consider using a more structured and streamlined approach to prepare your speech.
Define Your Purpose
You must understand the purpose of your presentation and what you want your audience to gain from it. Determine what the main points are and why those need to be addressed. Write these main points down along with the overall objective of the presentation. Use this objective to help keep you focused as you research and develop the presentation.
Prepare the Body of the Speech
Once you have determined the overall objective, decide how much information you can present in the allotted time. Use your knowledge of the audience to prepare a speech with the right level of detail. You want to make sure your information isn’t too basic or too advanced. Next, decide on your main points and create an outline. You will need to illustrate and support each main point with data and facts. In addition to the facts, think about other ways to convey the information that might make the presentation more interesting than just inundating your audience with facts. Consider using stories, quotes, videos, or personal experiences to connect with your audience and illustrate your points.
Prepare an Introduction and Conclusion
You only have a matter of seconds to capture your audience’s attention and reel them in so it’s important to develop a strong opener. You also want to make sure your introduction summarizes and reiterates your main objective. Make sure your introduction is relevant and stimulates thinking. You might consider sharing a personal story, projecting a cartoon or video, beginning with humor, or making an inspirational statement. As you prepare your conclusion, you want to make sure you reinforce the main ideas so your audience will remember them.